TAUNTON Racecourse is set to host its half-term raceday next week following the scheduled resumption of horse racing across the country.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced on Monday evening that racing is set to begin again on Wednesday after a six-day shutdown.

READ MORE: Racing to resume on Wednesday

Taunton's next meeting is on February 19 and the racecourse managing director, Bob Young, expressed his relief at the ending to the lockdown.

Young said: "Everyone here and throughout racing is mightily relieved that the shutdown is over.

"It’s not just racecourses that are impacted when this sort of thing happens because lots of people make a living from the industry and if there is no racing there is no income.

"Suppliers, stable staff, jockeys and drivers are just a few areas of racing which begin to feel the pinch very quickly when everything comes to a shuddering halt.

"The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has come in for some criticism accused of an over the top reaction but better safe than sorry and we all hope the problem has been contained with the biosecurity safeguards now in place.

"This racecourse is in the process of having all our stables cleaned and disinfected ahead of our half-term race meeting on Tuesday, February 19."

The first race at the half-term raceday goes off at 2.10pm and all Under-18s go free - discounts are available by booking tickets in advance on www.tauntonracecourse.co.uk.

It is also all systems go at Wincanton Racecourse, who host the Betway Kingwell Hurdle Day this Saturday (February 16).

There is now an eight race card, including 13 runners for the eagerly anticipated Betway Kingwell Hurdle.

The track will also run the prestigious Listed Mares Chase which has been moved from Exeter following its abandoned on Sunday.

General manager Huw Williams said: “It’s great to be back racing, and we have a real treat for racegoers with a superb day of racing in prospect.

"There are several notable horses entered, including many who may go on to race at the Cheltenham Festival.

"We’re delighted that racing is back, and we’re looking forward to welcoming people here to come and enjoy a terrific day out, that is right up there with Somerset’s best.”

The highlight on the card is the grade 2 Betway Kingwell Hurdle, a race of huge significance that puts the county in the sporting limelight.

It’s widely regarded as a trial for the Unibet Champion Hurdle which is run at the Cheltenham Festival in less that four weeks time and the country’s slickest and best hurdlers look set to thrill as they vie for racing glory.

With a role call of winners that reads like a who’s who of racing – Inglis Drever, Bula, Lanzarote, Yanworth, Katchit, Binocular, Hors La Loi III - the race is held in the highest regard by jockeys and trainers alike since first held in 1961.

Also on the card is the Betway Handicap Chase (for the Harry Dufosee Memorial Trophy), a race steeped in history and held in memory of the late, great Harry Dufossee who played a pivotal part in ensuring racing continued at Wincanton after the WWII when buying the land with a group of friends.

For ticket information, click here.